Editor’s Note: This article was originally published yesterday, after market close.
The stock market had a good day today, even if the Dow Jones Industrials didn’t participate. Even though the S&P 500 hit a new record high, the Dow had to settle for a five-point loss on a day on which earnings and other company-specific news took the bulk of the attention. Despite today’s being the third anniversary of the infamous Flash Crash, which took the Dow on a 1,000-point intraday swing, volatility fell today and remains extremely low.
Yet the Dow did have some excitement, as Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) jumped more than 5% after agreeing to settle its lawsuit with mortgage insurer MBIA Inc. (NYSE:MBI). MBIA investors were the big winners, with the stock soaring 45% on news of the settlement, under which the bank will pay MBIA $1.6 billion in cash as well as extending the insurer a $500 million line of credit and paying back some MBIA Inc. (NYSE:MBI) debt that B of A holds. That was enough to satisfy investors despite the threat of new litigation from the New York attorney general. But because the Dow is price weighted, the $0.64 gain in Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) shares only pushed the Dow up about five points.
Health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) gained more than 2% after a Wall Street analyst initiated coverage of the stock with a favorable overweight rating. Despite concerns about reimbursements from government programs, the analyst thinks UnitedHealth and peer Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM) will be able to keep its Medicare Advantage coverage profitable, based on analysis of the benefits that the insurers offer. Given ongoing anxiety about Obamacare, investors are likely to keep seeing relief rallies unless worst-case scenarios play out.
Finally, outside the Dow, 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) jumped 8% on news that it will become part of the S&P MidCap 400 index. The company was chosen as part of a shuffle that came from Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET)‘s planned purchase of S&P 500 component Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), and with Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC) becoming part of the S&P 500, 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) was left to fill the vacancy that Macerich left in the mid-cap index. The move will trigger purchases by mid-cap-tracking funds and sales by small-cap trackers, but investors apparently believe the net impact will be positive, even if it has no fundamental impact on the company.
The article Why B of A Couldn’t Save the Dow’s Day originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns warrants on Bank of America. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). It owns shares of 3D Systems and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and has the following options: short Jan. 2014 $36 calls on 3D Systems and short Jan. 2014 $20 puts on 3D Systems.
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